The American University in

Laboratory Safety
Chemical Fume Hoods
• A hood is the most commonly used engineering
control in the labs.
• Laboratory fume hoods are designed to protect the
users from hazardous airborne contaminants that
may be released in an experiment.
• They are designed to draw air into the hood and
away from the user and the laboratory, to contain
contaminant air, and to remove it from the
Description of Laboratory Hoods
• Hoods come in
various sizes. But
standard width are 4
and 6 feet.
• Three basic
chamber, face, and
Description of the Hood
• The Chamber: It has a base or surface, the
lining is chemical resistant.
• Water/gas/electricity/steam.
• May have installed rinsing devices.

The Face
• Opening to the chamber, where air is drawn
into the hood from lab.
• Has a slided sash.
• The sash helps keep the contaminant air
inside the hood.
• To reduce the risk, close the sash as much
as possible (18 inches).
The Exhaust System
• It draws air away from you.
• The exhaust duct is located in the top rear of
the chamber.
• A blower or high-powered fan draws the
• The most efficient position for the blower is
on the roof of the building (10 feet high).
• Turbulence in the chamber is caused by
irregular air patterns, and it increases the
chances for back flow.
• An internal baffle split the air stream and
reduces turbulence by keeping the air flow
fairly uniform throughout the chamber.
• Newer hoods have air foils, or slits, which
help keep the air velocity constant.
Laboratory Chemical Hoods
• Materials resist corrosion.
• Located in the distal corners, away from
high traffic to avoid turbulence.
• Hood exhaust 10 feet above any adjacent
roofline or intake within 50 feet.
• The average face velocity 80 – 100 fpm at
18 inches sash height.
• Positive steel mechanical latch for the sash
to prevent opening above 18 inches without
operator intervention.
• Velocities greater the 150 fpm are not
• Gas, water, vacuum, etc. controls shall be
located on the exterior of the hood, and
shall be labeled and color coded.
• An electronic airflow indicator – high alarm
150 fpm and low alarm at 80 fpm.
• On hoods with filters – indicator to indicate
pressure drop across the filter.
• Fume hoods ductwork shall be operated
with negative static pressure in the
ductwork through all spaces in the building.
Types of Chemical Fume Hoods
• 1- Standard fume hoods.
• 2- Bypass fume hoods.
• 3- Auxiliary fume hoods.
• 4- Perchloric fume hoods.
• 5- Radioisotopes fume hoods.

Standard Fume Hoods
• Sash, rear baffles,
blower and the
ductwork which
connects the hood to
the blower.
• Velocity will vary
according to the sash
• The air velocity may
be high.
Bypass Fume Hoods
• Same as standard + a
• The operation of the
bypass depends on the
position of the sash.
• This design keeps the
velocity at the base of
the hood fairly
Auxiliary Fume Hoods
• Same as bypass with the
addition of an outside
air supply. (additional
blower and ductwork).
• Small amount of A/C
room air is exhausted.
• Difficult to design.

Perchloric Acid Fume Hoods
• Constructed of
stainless steel –
equipped with water
sprays to wash down
any perchloric acid
deposits which are
potentially explosives.
• Should be used for
perchloric acid only.
Radioisotopes Fume Hoods
• Interior is constructed from stainless steel to
prevent absorption and accumulation of
radioactive materials.
• Designed to be easily cleaned. (removable
baffle for cleaning).
• Equipped with integral filter components.
HEPA or carbon filters.
Proper Use
• Equipment and other
materials should be
placed at least six
inches (15 cm) behind
the sash.
• Do not use fume hood
as a storage cabinet.
• Do not store chemicals
against the baffles.
• Minimize the
pedestrian traffic
immediately in front
of the hood. Walking
past the hood causes
turbulence which can
draw contaminant out
of the hood into the
• Adjust the sash height
to the smallest opening
(18 inches) (45 cm).
• Have an indication
position for the sash.
• PPE – glasses – lab coat – face shield
• Electrical receptacles ex-proof for
flammable liquids.
• Large items should be elevated at least 2
inches (5 cm) from the hood base to ensure
airflow to the baffle openings.
• Regular maintenance and measuring air